Mario Takes America is a Mario game that was originally intended for the Phillips CD-i in 1993. The game was going to be developed by a Toronto-based studio called Cigam Entertainment, but the game was cancelled before it could be finished. However, the game was picked up by Retro Studios and eventually released for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U in December 2013.
The game opens with Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi arriving in New York, where they set out on a quest across the United States and North America. However, Bowser is notified of this, and devises a plan to cut their vacation short.
As the game was adapted from a cancelled CD-i game, everything had to be reworked from the ground up. The gameplay in Mario Takes America is very similar to the New Super Mario Bros. series, as certain stages will feature a side-scrolling style of platforming. However, other levels feature a more open, free-roaming style in lieu of Super Mario 64. The game also takes cues from sandbox-type games such as The Simpsons: Hit and Run, allowing Mario, Luigi, or Yoshi to explore each level freely. Certain levels feature boss fights at the end, and defeating them will allow Mario to progress through the game.
Mario Takes America features 20 levels based around cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In order, these levels are:
- New York City- The game's starting level takes place in the Mario Bros.'s birthplace. Notable landmarks include the Statue of Liberty, Mario Bros. Plumbing (where our heroes can interact with the Ratigator), the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building. (Boss: Larry Koopa)
- Niagara Falls- This level is played from an overhead view, and involves our heroes travelling down Niagara Falls in separate barrels, all while avoiding Bowser's attacks.
- Philadelphia- Mario and company's next stop is the City of Brotherly Love, a free-roaming level where our heroes must prevent Bowser's troops from vandalizing the architecture. Notable landmarks include the Liberty Bell, the LOVE Statue, and a boxing ring where Mario can encounter Little Mac. (Boss: Roy Koopa)
- Boston- The colonial lure of Boston brings Mario and friends into a world of trouble, as Bowser's minions are stealing the city's tea supply. Landmarks include a ship representing the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Commons, the Subway, and even the Statehouse where our heroes can talk to Ben Franklin. (Miniboss: Three Hammer Bros. dressed as colonists)
- Toronto- The first international stop on the tour is Ontario's capital and Canada's largest city. This side-scrolling level features such landmarks as the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, and a bonus area set under the Great Lakes. (Boss: Boom-Boom, fought atop the CN Tower)
- Miami- Heading south, Mario's gang tries to catch some rays in Florida's largest city, but all is not well, as Gooper Blooper is causing trouble for the beachgoers. Notable landmarks include the Freedom Tower, the Miami Tower, Miami Beach, and the Intercontinental Hotel. (Boss: Gooper Blooper)
- Atlanta- This free-roaming level features many optional tasks for Mario and friends to do, and is not necessarily required to complete the game. Landmarks include the World of Coca-Cola Museum, the CNN Center, the Children's Museum, and the Atlanta High Rise.
- Louisiana Bayou- In this side-scrolling level, Mario and company find themselves piloting a speedboat across the Louisiana Bayou, trying to escape a hungry Cheep-Chomp. (Boss: Cheep-Chomp)
- Texas- Arriving in the Lone Star State of Texas, the Mario Bros. and Yoshi discover Bowser's minions causing trouble in Austin. After clearing the area, they take a train ride to Dallas and San Antonio, but are ambushed by Bowser's rogue bandits. Landmarks include Retro Studios Headquarters, Texas State Capitol, and the Austin History Center in Austin, Fort Worth in Dallas, and the Alamo in San Antonio. (Boss: Three Koopa Troopas dressed as cowboys, fought atop the boxcar train)
- Mexico City - After dealing with Bowser's troops in Texas, the gang takes a detour to Mexico's capital and largest city, where they must deal with Dry Bowser and his Dry Bones minions. Landmarks include the Angel of Independence, the Palacio des Bellas Artes, the Plaza de la Constitucion, and a restaurant where Mario can perform in a fiesta. (Boss: Dry Bowser and three Dry Bones wearing sombreros, fought in the Palacio Des Bellas Artes)
- Chichen Itza - Still in Mexico, Mario and company traverse through the country's most famous temple in a side-scrolling level filled with traps and treasures to collect. They must also outrun a boulder a la Indiana Jones.
- Chicago - The gang ventures to the Windy City, an optional free-roaming level with various challenges to offer. Landmarks include Millenium Park, Chicago Theatre, the Marina City Towers, and Buckingham Fountain.
- Minneapolis - The free-roaming Minneapolis is the next stop on the tour, where the group gets a break from battling Bowser's forces and can explore the more well-known of the two Twin Cities. Landmarks include Spoon & Cherry, the Pillsbury Factory, USBank Stadium, and the University of Minnesota's Northrop Auditorium.
- Mount Rushmore - South Dakota's most famous landmark, Mount Rushmore serves as a brief side stop for the gang on the way to Wyoming, and as such features a few minor challenges that are completely optional, such as fighting groups of enemies on top of the Presidents' heads.
- Wyoming - When Mario's posse arrives in Wyoming, they find trouble in the form of Iggy Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr., and Ludwig Von Koopa causing trouble in Yellowstone National Park. After taking care of them, they head out to explore Devil's Tower and learn about the alien conspiracies surrounding it. (Boss: Iggy, Morton, and Ludwig, fought in Yellowstone)
- Alberta - The Mario Bros. and Yoshi return to Canada to check out the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, but find that Lemmy Koopa and Wendy O. Koopa have brainwashed the horses into attacking the competitors. Afterwards, they head to Edmonton to do some snowboarding. (Boss: Lemmy and Wendy, riding atop horses)
- Area 51 - The next stop on the tour is the mysterious Area 51 Military base in Nevada, where rumors of alien sightings are the least of Mario's worries as Bowser Jr. has hijacked the base's radar equipment to draw aliens against the group. (Boss: Bowser Jr.)
- Las Vegas - After dealing with Junior in Area 51, our heroes decide to try their luck at Vegas' most popular casinos, and get to go against some of the country's biggest gamblers. Landmarks include Fremont Casino, the Caesar's Palace Hotel, the Vegas Strip, and a bonus area filled with Coins inside a slot machine.
- Seattle - Our heroes head to Seattle to check out various sites, with notable landmarks including the Space Needle, Nintendo of America Headquarters, a dense forest on the outskirts of the city, and the Children's Hospital.
- Los Angeles - The final level of the game and the last stop on the tour, Mario and friends finally meet up with Bowser in Hollywood to defeat him once and for all, and also get a chance to make a documentary about their trip. Landmarks include Mann's Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood Sign, and a movie studio where the battle with Bowser takes place. (Boss: Bowser, fought on the set of a Western movie)
- This game marks the return of the long-absent Ratigator from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. Its' design has been updated to fit the modern Mario universe, becoming more anthropomorphic.